No Matter the Distance
Then the officer said, "Sir, I am not worthy to have you in my home; [and it isn't necessary for you to come]. If you will only stand here and say, 'Be healed,' my servant will get well! I know, because I am under the authority of my superior officers and I have authority over my soldiers, and I say to one,'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave boy, 'Do this or that,' and he does it. And I know you have authority to tell his sickness to go - and it will go!"
Jesus stood there amazed! Turning to the crowd he said, "I haven't seen faith like this in all the land of Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles [like this Roman officer], shall come from all over the world and sit down in the Kingdom of Heaven with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And many an Israelite - those for whom the Kingdom was prepared - shall be cast into outer darkness, into the place of weeping and torment."
Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, "Go on home. What you have believed has happened!" And the boy was healed that same hour! Matthew 8:8-13 (TLB)
Johnny Nelson is from Texas. The phone rang, and it was too early for good news. Still half-asleep, Johnny answered the call from his parents. His sister Mary had been in a car accident, and they were en route to the hospital. She had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a coma. They said they would know more if she survived the first 24 hours.
For the rest of the day, Johnny prayed and wept and screamed in his bedroom. Because he was overseas at the time, it was true agony to be so far away and know his sister was on the verge of death. Eventually, in an attempt to find some comfort, Johnny read today's scripture.
The centurion was not physically near to his suffering servant. Yet, Jesus made the servant well. Johnny took comfort in that story, knowing that distance is irrelevant to God.
Johnny's sister lived, but she still suffers the effects of her injuries and resides at home with their parents. Johnny still lives far away and cannot be there as much as he would like. But he takes heart knowing that their faith overcomes earthly separation. Geographic distance cannot isolate us from our loved ones in need, nor the love, healing, and protection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, help us to have the faith to know that you hear our prayers, no matter the time or distance. Watch over our loved ones who are suffering, in Jesus' name. Amen.